Establish the presence of a functioning corpus luteum or luteal cell function; confirm basal body temperature measurements for the occurrence of ovulation; obtain an indication of the day of ovulation; evaluate the functional state of the corpus luteum in infertility patients; assess placental function during pregnancy; ovarian function test
Progesterone is a steroid hormone with a molecular weight of 314.5 daltons.2 Progesterone is mainly formed in the cells of the corpus luteum and during pregnancy in the placenta. Progesterone is increased in congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21-hydroxylase, 17-hydroxylase, and 11-β-hydroxylase deficiency. Progesterone is decreased in primary or secondary hypogonadism and short luteal phase syndrome.
The progesterone concentration correlates with the development and regression of the corpus luteum. Whereas progesterone is barely detectable in the follicular phase of the female cycle, a rise in the progesterone level is observed one day prior to ovulation. Increased progesterone synthesis occurs during the luteal phase. In the second half of the cycle pregnanediol is excreted in urine as the main degradation product of progesterone.
Progesterone brings about the conversion of the uterine mucosa into a tissue rich in glands (secretion phase), in order to prepare for the intrauterine implantation of the fertilized ovum. During pregnancy, progesterone inhibits the contraction of the myometrium. In the mammary gland, progesterone (together with estrogens) promotes the proliferation and secretion disposition of the alveoli.2,3
The determination of progesterone is utilized in fertility diagnosis for the detection of ovulation and assessment of the luteal phase.3,4
Red-top tube or gel-barrier tube
If a red-top tube is used, transfer separated serum to a plastic transport tube.